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Helen B. Rogalski (nee Lenart) of Dyer, formerly of Calumet City, passed away peacefully in her home early in the morning on January 21, 2018 at the age of 94. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Stanley “Stan” to whom she was married for 62 years, by her parents Jan and Rosalia Lenart and her siblings Casey (Wanda) Lenart, Olga (Fritz) Pekala, Sr. Mary Rosaline, OSF (nee Wanda Lenart), Matt Lenart, Loretta (Mike) Wopinski, and Jack Lenart. She is survived by her children: Joe (Linda) Rogalski, Lynn (Jim) Lucas, Anita (John) Kowalisyn; grandchildren: Kate, Ben, Andrea, Kevin & Jamie; great-grandson Kane; as well as by many much-loved nieces and nephews.
Helen was born at home in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago. She graduated from St. Florian School including the completion of their Secondary School Commercial Program. Her 1st job was at a bakery in Roseland. During World War II she met and was courted by Stan. He impressed her with his smooth talk and fancy car. They married one weekend while he was on leave and started their life together. They lived on military bases from GA to CA until moving back to Calumet City at the War’s end. At that time, they assumed ownership of Joe’s Hardware (Calumet Hardware) from Stan’s parents.
Helen became bookkeeper, secretary, and inventory specialist for the store. They converted half of the hardware store into a “Gift Shop” that became known throughout the region for its Wedding Anniversary specialty gifts and a housewares section for the ladies. She was ahead of her time in offering “free gift wrap” with any purchase from her side of the store. Helen managed to do this while raising three children and caring for her father-in-law. After retirement she and Stan moved to her 1st ever “new” house at “Swan Lake” in Dyer, IN.
Helen loved to do needlepoint. Much of her best work was done while traveling in the car once or twice a week to “the Lake” where Helen enjoyed the serenity of spending peaceful time with family and friends. In her spare time, she also enjoyed creating beautiful one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments and jeweled Christmas trees as gifts for loved ones.
Helen was a member of St. Andrew the Apostle Church, St. Andrew’s Polish Choir, St. Andrew Rosary Confraternity (for over 50 years), a long-time member of the St. Andrew Sunshine Club, Ladies of Coronata Auxiliary, Daughters of Isabella #859 General Pulaski Circle, and Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary. After moving to Dyer, Helen joined St. Maria Goretti Church and was a part of their choir for over 15 years.
In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, the family would appreciate contributions made in Helen’s name to the Calumet City Resource Center where she volunteered for over 20 years, St. Andrew the Apostle Church Maintenance Fund, or the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Retirement Fund.
Funeral Services will be held Thursday, January 25, 2018 directly at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church: 500 Northgate Drive, Dyer, Indiana 46311 with a 10:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial followed by Interment Services at Holy Cross Cemetery of Calumet City, Illinois. Visitation will be Wednesday at Castle Hill Funeral Home 1219 Sheffield Avenue, Dyer, Indiana 46311 from 3-8 p.m. and Thursday Morning at the church from 9:00 a.m. until time of Mass. For information please call (219)864-0170 or visit castlehillfuneralhome.com for online guestbook.